The Sacramento Kings are going to have an impressive one-two point guard punch wwnext season. And no, we’re not talking Jimmer Fredette.
On Monday the Kings reached a deal with Aaron Brooks to come in and take over point guard duties, the team announced. This is a two-year deal worth about $3.3 million a year, with a player option for that second year, reports Sam Amick at Sports Illustrated.
Brooks was out of the NBA last season after playing in China, a deal he signed during the lockout and had to honor deep into the NBA season. The season prior he had started with the Rockets but was tradedto the S
You’d have to think Isaiah Thomas — the rookie who had a great campaign for the Kings last season — will be the point guard off the bench who can give Brooks plenty of rest.
That likely means Tyreke Evans will be used as a two-guard (or trade bait). He has struggled to find a comfort level once the Kings took the ball out of his hands. He struggled at the three last year, maybe the two is better. Or, maybe he does get traded.
But where does all that leave Jimmer Fredette? Jimmer was supposed to get a better look at the point during Summer League — and he racked up 30 points Monday on 10-of-21 shooting. But he didn’t look like a point guard who was being a floor general, he looked like a shooting guard who was trying to get his own shot.
Brooks makes the Kings better, it’s simple. But his presence raises some interesting roster issues as well.
To make room for Brooks, the Kings waived Hassan Whiteside.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.
On Friday night, the Lakers announced that they’re hiring Luke Walton as their next head coach, effective as soon as the Warriors’ playoff run is over. It’s a good hire, but it’s especially interesting given Walton’s close relationship with Phil Jackson and the rumors that never seem to go away, that Jackson might be set up to return to the Lakers to run the team alongside fiancée Jeanie Buss after next season, when he has an opt-out in his contract with the Knicks.
But that doesn’t mean Walton will be running the triangle, as he said in his first comments to reporters since the news broke.
Via the Orange County Register‘s Bill Oram:
Regardless of whether Jackson eventually gets back in the picture in Los Angeles, Walton has been a successful assistant in Golden State and has the right temperament to lead the Lakers into the post-Kobe era.
Stephen Curry might be back sooner than expected. It’s been one week since he suffered the sprained MCL in his right knee that led the Warriors to rule him out for at least two weeks, but head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that there’s at least an outside chance he could play Tuesday in Game 2 of Golden State’s second-round series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Via ESPN.com’s Marc Stein:
Obviously, the smart money is on Curry not playing this early in his timetable. But the fact that it’s even on the table would seem to indicate that, barring a setback, he’ll be back for at least some of the series, which tips off Sunday.